A coalition of organizations will announce
a nationwide campaign calling for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on
their second week of an open-ended hunger strike. American Muslims for
Jerusalem (AMJ) and other organizations will call for all places of worship
to devote their weekly sermons to raise awareness of the dire humanitarian
condition of Palestinian men and women who are suffering in Israeli
prisons. A call will be made to declare a day of fasting in solidarity with
the hunger strikers in Palestine.
Who: AMJ and a coalition of other organization
When: Thursday, August 25, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: National Press Club, Zeiger Room
Contact: Khalid Turaani (202) 256-2000
A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) to reverse its decision to revoke the visa of an Islamic scholar who
was due to begin teaching at the University of Notre Dame.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the
DHS decision to revoke a visa previously granted to Tariq Ramadan, a
well-known Islamic scholar who is often described as a "moderate" and a
"reformer," sends the wrong message to the Islamic world about America's
willingness to listen to what Muslims have to say.
Ramadan, a citizen of Switzerland, was granted a visa in February following
a lengthy security check. It was revoked July 28, after his family's
belongings had already been sent to the United States. No reason was given
for the revocation. A statement issued by Notre Dame said: "Professor
Ramadan is a distinguished scholar and a voice for moderation in the Muslim
world…We know of no reason his entry should be prevented."
The Chicago Tribune reported today that the decision to revoke Ramadan's
visa "could have been influenced by some Jewish groups that have waged a
campaign against scholars and public intellectuals whose views on Islam and
the Middle East conflict with their own."
SEE: "Muslim Scholar Has Visa Revoked"
"The best way to improve deteriorating relations with the Muslim world is
by listening to mainstream Islamic political and religious voices, not by
censoring respected scholars whose views are apparently feared by those who
seek a monopoly on intellectual debate," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad
Awad said the DHS decision runs counter to recent remarks by President
Bush's national security advisor Condoleezza Rice who said just last week
that America must expand "efforts to support and encourage the voices of
moderation and tolerance and pluralism within the Muslim world."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)
Contact the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and
President Bush to urge that the decision to revoke Dr. Tariq Ramadan's visa
be reversed. You should also send a copy of the letter to your elected
GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/dbq/officials
Click on the links for President Bush (click on "President"), Secretary of
State Colin Powell and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge (click on
"Agencies"). Enter your ZIP Code to contact elected representatives.
Ramadan was to teach at the University of Notre Dame Joan B. Kroc Institute
for International Peace Studies.
Send a copy of your letter to:
R. Scott Appleby
Joan B. Kroc Institute
106 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Phone: (574) 631-5665
Fax: (574) 631-6973
- END -
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a preeminent international
Islamic organization, and its co-host for the ISNA Annual Convention, the
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIO), an umbrella
organization representing over 400,000 Muslims throughout Chicagoland, are
pleased to announce the 41st Annual ISNA Convention. The theme of this
year's convention is "Islam: Dialogue, Devotion and Development". The
convention will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center,
Rosemont, Illinois. From Friday, September 3, 2004 to Monday, September 6,
2004 Muslims will immerse themselves in the pursuit of Islamic knowledge
through seminars presented by international Islamic experts and
scholars. Over 25,000 attendees are expected at this important annual event.
Every year during the Labor Day weekend thousands of North American Muslims
come to the ISNA Annual Convention to enrich their faith, celebrate the
diversity of Islam, take advantage of the wealth of knowledge at seminars,
enjoy ethnic delicacies and browse through the colorful bazaar.
The ISNA Annual Convention is recognized for providing an avenue for
constructive dialogue involving social, religious, political and business
leaders. A notable group of Islamic scholars and prominent figures from a
range of disciplines are scheduled to speak at the convention. The speakers
include: Sheikh Muhammed Nur Abdullah, ISNA President and Director of the
Islamic Foundation of Greater Missouri; Dr. Ingrid Mattson, ISNA
Vice-President and professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary,
Hartford, Connecticut; Hamza Yusuf, founder of the Zaytuna Institute in
Hayward, California; Jamal Badawi, a professor at St. Mary's University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia and Abdul Hakim Jackson, professor of Arabic and
Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
A press conference featuring ISNA leadership will be held on Friday,
September 3, 2004 at the Convention Center. The time and room location
will be announced shortly. This will be the best opportunity for the press
to speak directly with the leaders of one of North America's preeminent
One of the major events of the convention will be the Unity Banquet,
scheduled for Friday, September 3, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. The banquet will be
an opportunity for leaders of diverse religions, including the Catholic,
Protestant, Jewish and Muslim communities, to come together, renew their
bonds and forge a path of unity for the future.
We invite you to attend and cover this pre-eminent Islamic gathering,
scheduled news conferences and interfaith events. Please note members of
the media must register at the Media Registration Booth located in the
Convention Center lobby to enter the convention and attend events.
Advance media inquiries are suggested to facilitate press passes,
pre-planning for coverage of news events and interviews at the Convention.
Please contact: Farhan Younus at (630) 926-5566.
The Illinois- based Muslim Civil Rights Center (MCRC)
today reacted to the arrest of Muhammad Salah, an area Muslim who has been
indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy to provide money for
In its statement, MCRC said:
"While it is important that our government takes effective steps to protect
our country against terrorist threats, it is equally important that all
those suspected of wrongdoing be given their constitutionally-guaranteed
right to due process of law, as well as the presumption of innocence.
"Unfortunately, such indictments in the past have been exploited by those
who have sought to denigrate the American Muslim community.
"Such cases must be judged on basis of the evidence, not on the religious
beliefs or national origins of the defendants. It is important that the
media and judicial system proceed cautiously and that the legal rights of
the accused are protected.
"Given previous cases involving innocent Americans like Wen Ho Lee, Brandon
Mayfield and James Yee, in which evidence proved to be flawed or missing;
MCRC is concerned about the strength of the charges against Salah.
"MCRC will carefully monitor this situation to ensure that justice is done
and that no individuals or groups are victimized due to religion or
MCRC, an Islamic civil and human rights group based in Hickory Hills,
Illinois, creates awareness about civil and human rights among American
Muslims and facilitates legal assistance to assure due process and fair
trial for the community members.
Contact: Ahmad Tansheet of the Muslim Civil Rights Center 708-598-6640